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Indian Gaming Revenue Sets New Record of $40.9B in 2022

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The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) released Fiscal Year 2022 Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) numbers totaling $40.9bn, an increase of 4.9% over FY 2021. Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer and Vice Chair Jeannie Hovland made the announcement live from Thackerville, Okla.

Gaming Revenue for FY 2022 is the highest in Indian gaming history. Seven of NIGC’s eight regions showed an increase over FY 2021. The overall FY 2022 GGR increase was $1.9bn, about 5% higher than the historic FY 2021 GGR of $39bn, as operations emerged from the pandemic. It is important to note the year-over-year GGR change by region should not be used as a direct indicator of the local economy in any specific region. Many other factors could have an impact on the GGR at the regional level, such as new gaming operations, expansions or renovations to existing operations, temporary or permanent closures, or changes in a gaming operation’s fiscal year.

This year’s historic revenue reflects the resiliency of many tribal gaming operations, and how tribal gaming continues to rebound and remain strong. Tribal governments and the operations they license continue to explore new and innovative ways to expand and deliver world-class experiences to cultivate sustainable economies.

“Across Indian country, tribes pursue economic sustainability through gaming by relying on the robust regulatory reputation for which Indian gaming is well known, and made better when supported by efficient and effective measures,” said Simermeyer.

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Vice Chair Hovland noted this year’s GGR reflects Indian gaming geographic and financial diversity, with 55% of tribal gaming facilities reporting less than $25m in revenues (5% of the total GGR). Indian gaming’s success also often means benefits to surrounding communities and regional economies.

“We have cause to celebrate the opportunity successful Indian gaming operations affords tribes to invest in the future and improve the quality of life for individual Native people, and their families, and their communities,” Hovland said.

The FY 2022 revenues are calculated from the independently audited financial statements of 519 gaming operations owned by 244 federally recognized tribes. Indian gaming operations are located on Indian land in 29 states.

Industry News

Galaxy Gaming Appoints Steve Kopjo as Chief Financial Officer

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Galaxy Gaming has appointed Steve Kopjo as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer. Amid an impressive career in the gaming industry, Kopjo joins Galaxy Gaming on May 28, bringing extensive experience from senior finance and accounting positions held at various publicly traded gaming companies. With a proven track record of success, Kopjo is set to assume a pivotal role on the Executive leadership team, steering Galaxy Gaming through its next phase of growth and evolution.

With over 15 years of experience in the gaming industry, Kopjo began his career at Ernst & Young as an auditor for casino operators, acquiring his CPA license. Kopjo developed an eclectic skillset in Technical Accounting, Investor Relations, Corporate Finance, and Mergers & Acquisitions through a series of roles with both operators and suppliers, including SHLF entertainment, Wynn Resorts, Play AGS, and most recently as Vice President of Finance at Everi Holdings. Kopjo was a key member of the Play AGS team that led the company’s successful IPO in 2018. At Everi Holdings since 2021, he managed debt restructuring, investor relations, FP&A, and board of director communications, and played a pivotal role in several successful mergers and acquisitions.

The appointment of Kopjo represents a significant move for Galaxy Gaming, as the Company looks to maintain its recent momentum while transitioning long-serving CFO, Harry Hagerty, to a Strategic Advisor role, from which he will continue to serve the company as a resource and contributor on strategic initiatives. Galaxy has been fortunate to have had Hagerty in the CFO role for the past seven years, during which he helped the company grow while negotiating the redemption of the founder and helping to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to welcome Steve as the latest casino gaming expert to join our talented and ambitious Galaxy Gaming team. His experience, leadership, work ethic, and contagious energy will without a doubt contribute to our continued growth and success. While it is never easy to replace someone like Harry Hagerty, we are proud of how we have supported his transition from a full-time C-suite role and continue to leverage his valuable experience as a strategic advisor,” Matt Reback, President and CEO at Galaxy Gaming, said.

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“I’ve known Steve for years as a versatile finance professional with a history of navigating complex financial landscapes, executing successful merger and acquisition transactions, optimizing resource allocation through financial, planning and analysis, cultivating strong investor relationships, and ensuring precision in technical accounting. His skills and personality are a strong fit for Galaxy Gaming,” Reback added.

“I was honored to be considered and ultimately selected for this role by Galaxy Gaming. I am excited to join a company with such a respected board of directors, talented leadership team, and robust business foundation. I have watched Galaxy Gaming from afar and always believed it was poised for continued growth, further solidifying its leading position in the gaming industry. I can’t wait to join the team and support the commitment to strategic product innovation. I look forward to bringing my experience to bear as we explore ways to maximize shareholder value, ensuring Galaxy Gaming remains at the forefront of industry excellence,” Steve Kopjo said.

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Industry News

Illinois Gambling Debate Marred By Dubious Claims

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Prominent gambling companies have been actively lobbying against Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker proposal to increase the tax on legal sports betting and leaning on several questionable assertions ranging from unproven to untrue. The Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG) is an independent gambling reform group with deep knowledge of the gambling sector’s business practices, both in the UK and now in the US.

Closely monitoring gambling initiatives in states across the US, CFG has taken particular note of the current battle in Illinois, where Gov. Pritzker proposed a tax increase on legal sports betting from 15% to 35%. This measure is aggressively opposed by the Sports Betting Alliance (SBA), comprising Fanatics, Draft Kings, FanDuel (Flutter), and BetMGM (Entain).

SBA has lobbied against Gov. Pritzker’s proposed tax increase under the messaging banner “Why It Matters,” but has not substantiated its claims. SBA claims to have demonstrated public support for its agenda, but CFG believes signatures of support were collected under false pretenses.

“It’s no feat of strength to push a fantastical narrative, then collect signatures and proclaim a mandate. Global gambling conglomerates are expert at positioning sports betting as a foot in the door before the real floodgates inevitably open. Sports betting often serves as a gateway to slots and table games down the line, because they bring in even more revenue — not to mention harm,” said CFG founder and funder Derek Webb.

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“In Britain, there’s been a long history of gambling trade bodies making misleading representations. In fact, one group with shared ties to some SBA members is now defunct after having libeled a reform advocate. CFG is here to urge policymakers and the public to proceed with caution and not rely upon gambling companies who are globally notorious for exaggerating benefits and not owning the harm they create,” Webb added.

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Kunal Mishra Joins ODDSworks as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Strategy Officer

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ODDSworks, a North American iGaming technology and content provider, announced that Kunal Mishra has been appointed as Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Operating Officer, enhancing its leadership team.

Prior to joining ODDSworks, he was Chief Operating Officer – Americas, for Bragg Gaming Group where he was instrumental in expanding the company’s day-to-day business operations throughout America.

Mr. Mishra came to Bragg via their acquisition of Spin Games LLC where he held the position of President and Chief Financial Officer. Spin Games was a pioneer in the North American iGaming space and he managed the company’s strategy, finances, and operations, along with being a partner in the company.

In his new role with ODDSworks, Mr. Mishra will be tasked with leading the Company’s growth and will be responsible for the overall strategy. He will help lead the ongoing execution of ODDSworks’ plans.

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Larry DeMar, President of ODDSworks, said: “We are incredibly fortunate to bring a generational talent like Kunal to the ODDSworks’ team. We expect great vision and leadership as we drive forward with new markets and operators.”

“Having evaluated the opportunities in the iGaming market, I am excited to take on this role to further ODDSworks evolution and momentum. As demonstrated by the Company’s progress including an expansion into new markets and focus on delivering high-performing iGaming content – ODDSworks has already established a framework to deliver consistent growth. I look forward to contributing to our long-term success,” Mr. Mishra said.

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